IN PICTURES: Pride as £9.5 million YMCA building unveiled

A new £9.5 million YMCA centre has been unveiled in the Black Country – seven years after building work started.

IN PICTURES: Pride as £9.5 million YMCA building unveiled

The facility in Carter's Green is home to 96 housing units for vulnerable adults, a £200,000 gym, youth zone, fitness and wellbeing centre and enterprise, business and education facilities.

Work on the site started in 2008. Parts of the old building have been refurbished and new parts have also been built.

It also features a new not-for-profit coffee shop called Cielo, who has been co-founded by Linda and Nick Castle.

The first phase of the YMCA Western Gateway scheme was completed in September 2011 which saw the Children and Family Centre Nursery opened.

Steve Clay, chief executive officer at YMCA Black Country, said: "It feels fantastic that the work has finally been completed after what has been a long journey which has involved many twists and turns.

"We have attempted to offer a wide variation of top of the range services in a friendly environment.

"We had three aims with this transformation – to completely revamp the community services we offer, for the quality of that service to be high in every aspect of what we do and for the building to be iconic, catch people's attention and utilise its location as a gateway into the town centre.

"I'm very happy to say we've more than achieved all three goals."

The YMCA has operated in West Bromwich for more than 127 years.

Its first premises were built in St Michael Street in 1888 before relocating to Carter's Green in the 1960s. Clive Jessup, whose company Jessup Brothers helped complete the building work, said: "Jessup became involved in the eleventh hour of the scheme but as soon as I saw this opportunity I knew it had the team to deliver.

"We would like to thank all the local suppliers as this absolutely amazes me. It really is a collaboration and a thank you to all the hard work everybody has done.

"YMCA have been a very helpful and understanding client.

"If this transformation doesn't inspire the people of West Bromwich, then I don't know what will."

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